4 July 2018
Blog review of "The Lyrids" EP on www.americanpancake.com:
The Classic Hunt is a five piece alternative rock band based out of Philadelphia and their four track EP "The Lyrids" (despite it's brevity) leaves a mark. Whether that mark is a bruise or a heightened sense of being alive after having a brush with death I think you will feel something. That something might be laced with confusion, joy and even disgust. The lyrics stream out of Tyler Hayduk's plastique lips in a pushed beat poetry sort of way. Besides the proggy musicality of the songs, the poetically obtuse yet deeply aware lyrics, it is Hayduk's singing style that pulls you into the fray right away. Oddly enough or maybe not odd at all I thought of Bob Dylan, Van Morrison and Jello Biafra (the Dead Kennedys) or a blend thereof. Musically, the Classic Hunt plays with tones that are all over the place. The alt rock umbrella turned upside down holds folk, psychedelic rock, blues, post punk all blended in a dreamy meets proggy way. I swear that on the provocative track Back To Life I taste a hint of zydeco even. The song feels like wanderlust on high, like a dizzy night of being seriously fucked up on strong intoxicants and being lost or maybe found. I couldn't help think of Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs and Van Morrison's Into The Mystic all at once. And while the beauty of the latter is traded for kissed obscenities on Back to Life there is a lot of beauty had too. The story rides and soars with a dense production and the rock flourishes are so damn moving. Let me say on a serious note that the refrain "I'm dying to fuck you back to life" left me torn and curious. Every possible alliteration aside within the context of the song it's meaning is up to you to interpret but references to Narcissus and more lead me to believe that it is a line said in the mirror and that the counter position of death and life is the point itself. In the end it is a desperately sad lyric.
I think those of us who like lyrics that hold more questions than answers will be drawn to this material. For me the center point of the album is Catalina. The drama starts right away with a stalking, mysterious bass line, staid drums on edge and pearly guitar rhythms that stair step up and back. Hayduk sings in a more forceful way while background vox sound more haunting. The song feels like a slow building crescendo with beautiful musical breaks but all the while you feel the eruption about to happen. When it does with stirring layers or lead guitars it feels like art rock theater like some dreamy blend of Built To Spill and Pink Floyd. On the track Sunflower For Rye there are head nods (to me) to classic rock like Led Zeppelin cleverly crafted, blended with a kind of Pere Ubu vibe. Simply, undeniably trippy and so very tasty. The last song Star Vultures might be the most "accessible" to most as it traverses both prog rock with an anthemic orchestrated sound at least until the end musical break as the band jams out in a wonderful sonic milieu of funk, rock and blues.
The Lyrids EP by The Classic Hunt is not (as they say) for the faint of heart. For those of you that it strikes a chord with you will find a wealth of sounds here to revel in. Each time you listen you will hear other nuances of sound and fury. I love the musicality on this album and the potent rock guitar. The expressiveness of the sound and lead work is so impressive. And, of course, I love the lyrical diatribes by Hayduk that even on their own stand out as challenging poetry. As with any great piece of music wrought by a band of people The Classic Hunt's sum of it's part is what make this outfit shine. My sense (although I do not know) is that the poetic center is Tyler Hayduk and that the band as a whole cross threads all their artistic visions together. Of course I can be completely wrong but whatever the case is The Classic Hunt is Tyler Hayduk (keys, guitar, lead vox), Brendan Burke (guitar), Andrew Haff (guitar), Jude Alvarez (bass) and Aaron Wolf (drums).
4/22/18 - The Lyrids EP - Press Release
On April 22nd, The Classic Hunt unveiled The Lyrids EP for online streaming and download.
Recorded by the five-piece "psychedelic-folk-rock-jazz-punk-blues" band based out of Philadelphia, the music of The Classic Hunt can be distilled down to a nebular opposition of tension and release. The group creates a sound that dissolves the line between the states of anxious isolation and ecstatic congregation.
"Are you holding me or are you holding me back?" asks the chorus of the band's darkly hypnotic psych-jam, "Sunflowers for Rye."
That question is central throughout the 4-song EP and underlines the choices, sacrifices, and consequences experienced by those in pursuit a dream - those on the classic hunt. The songs do not shy away from darkness, instead they charge through at full speed, becoming fire in the sky, just like the shooting stars that mark the debut.
The release of The Lyrids EP will coincide with the peak of annual meteor shower of the same name. Appearing in the Constellation Lyra (associated with The Vulture and the Lyre of Orpheus), this celestial light show was first recorded in China as early as 687 BC and would be the perfect visual accompaniment for listening to this music.
A fan of space rocks and space rock, Tyler J. Hayduk, 33, founding member of The Classic Hunt, says the act is one-half synchronicity and one-half act of will:
"This lines up on a many levels for me. The culmination of so much time and energy spent working towards a goal arrives and it's a little bit terrifying. It's also my brother's birthday. He would have been 36 this year. Soon he will have been gone longer than he was here and I'll have spent over half of my life wondering what happened... Heavy, right? But you know, recently I watched Larry King interview this producer, Jack Antonoff, who was talking about losing his sister when they were kids. I realized how important it is to feel able to express loss, to let other people know they aren't alone in trying to deal with it, and to be a reminder that we can grow beyond our constrictions. Music is the only language with which I've felt able to communicate that message."
An active musician in Philadelphia since 2010, Tyler Hayduk has come to be one of those familiar strangers you almost already know. As keyboardist and original member of Rockers Galore, the socially-conscious world/punk/hip-hop act once dubbed "Philly's present day-answer to The Clash" by Philebrity.com, Hayduk lives for the live show, recalling a gig at the TLA, where the group opened for Bear Hands, Killer Mike, and GZA on the 2012 Liquid Swords tour, as a personal highlight.
But, as many keyboard players know, sometimes you just want to play guitar and sing. With a growing repertoire of original material, Hayduk began recording homemade demos, testing new material at open mics around Philly, and performing support sets for other artists such as Rocco Deluca and Deadfellow.
All the while keeping an eye out for the right balance of talents and personality to fully develop the sound, Hayduk says that balance came together in early 2017 through jam sessions with Brendan Burke (guitar), Andrew Haff (guitar), Jude Alvarez (bass), and Aaron Wolf (drums).
The newly devised line-up recorded much of The Lyrids EP on their own with additional tracking with Matt Squires at Drexel University and additional tracking, mixing, and mastering by Carl Bahner at TriForce Pro Audio in Lancaster, PA.
Together the band creates resonant, thought-provoking music featuring electrifying guitar work and acerbic wordplay delivered with tragically hilarious dark humor.